The Shocking History of UFOs and Nuclear Weapons

“The unnerving events have notable parallels to allegations by former Air Force missile officers, that UFOs had rendered nuclear weapons inoperable…”

By Marik von Rennenkampff
via The Hill

UFOs are no laughing matter on Capitol Hill. Beyond alleging the existence of surreptitious government programs to retrieve and reverse-engineer exotic craft of “non-human” origin, Congress mandated that the Department of Defense document and report any UFO incidents “associated with military nuclear assets, including strategic nuclear weapons and nuclear-powered ships.”

Lawmakers are right to focus on the nexus between UFOs and nuclear technology. Many of the best-known and most credible unexplained sightings occurred in alarming proximity to our most sensitive nuclear assets and facilities.

In 2004 and 2015, for example, U.S. Navy fighter jets flying off nuclear-powered aircraft carriers recorded the three UFO videos that catalyzed significant public and congressional interest in the phenomena.

But interactions between UFOs and ultra-sensitive U.S. nuclear assets date back nearly eight decades. New Mexico, ground zero for America’s nuclear weapons development programs, is the site of a remarkable number of baffling, unsolved UFO incidents.

In late 1948, for example, dozens of pilots, defense personnel and scientists associated with the famed Los Alamos and Sandia nuclear weapons programs began seeing mysterious “green fireballs” in the sky. Such objects were frequently observed flying on a perfectly horizontal trajectory, often moving directly toward nearby aircraft. In 1949, two major Los Alamos conferences on the incidents, which drew the likes of famed nuclear weapons physicist Edward Teller, failed to identify the source of the phenomena.

Lincoln LaPaz, then one of the world’s leading authorities on meteorites, observed the “fireballs” personally and, in partnership with the Air Force, conducted a thorough study of the mysterious phenomena. As Time and Life magazines reported contemporaneously, LaPaz “blasted” the notion that the objects were meteorites, bolides or other naturally occurring phenomena.

The bizarre incidents, along with their apparent connection to nuclear weapons research, remain unexplained.

Nearly a decade after the first “green fireball” sightings, an extraordinary UFO incident was reported at Kirtland Air Force Base, a key nuclear weapons testing and storage facility in New Mexico.

On Nov. 4, 1957, two control tower operators with more than 20 years of combined experience said they watched from a remarkably close range as an elongated wingless and engineless object descended slowly over the runway and hovered over the base’s nuclear weapons storage area. The craft then shot off at a remarkable speed. Radar confirmed the presence of the unknown object, which was ultimately lost from scopes as it shadowed a departing cargo plane at an uncomfortably close distance of half a mile.

A few years later, on April 24, 1964, Socorro, New Mexico, police officer Lonnie Zamora reported observing a similarly strange, elongated UFO, this time on the ground. Upon seeing Zamora’s approaching cruiser, he said, two small human-looking beings beside the UFO entered the craft, which then rapidly departed. Amid a national media frenzy, authorities mounted a sweeping investigation of the incident.

Army and Air Force officers, FBI agents and meteorite expert LaPaz all vouched for Zamora’s credibility and reliability. Moreover, a passing motorist corroborated his account, stating that he had briefly observed the craft, along with Zamora’s vehicle. A fellow Socorro police officer, arriving moments after the UFO would have departed, discovered a visibly shaken Zamora as well as smoldering vegetation where the craft would have been standing.

Importantly, this extraordinary encounter took place in the vicinity of the Trinity Site, where the first nuclear weapon was detonated in July 1945.

While credible observers reported countless other confounding UFO incidents in the vicinity of key New Mexico nuclear facilities, the UFO connection to nukes is not limited to the American Southwest.

One of the most perplexing reported UFO incidents, involving a multitude of simultaneous radar and visual observations, occurred in the skies over two of the largest nuclear weapons storage facilities outside of the U.S.

During the Cold War, British air bases RAF Lakenheath and Bentwaters hosted U.S. forces and nuclear weapons.

Over several hours on the night of Aug. 13, 1956, radar stations at Lakenheath and Bentwaters tracked multiple unidentified objects conducting extraordinary maneuvers, often at astounding speeds, in the skies above these two key nuclear-equipped bases.

The bizarre radar tracks were corroborated visually by witnesses on the ground and via radar and visually by pilots in at least two aircraft. Perhaps most remarkably — and disturbingly — radar operators watched in shock as the mysterious object outmaneuvered and subsequently chased the first of two British fighter jets scrambled to intercept it.

Twenty-four years later, it happened again. In a series of startling incidents in December 1980, the deputy base commander of RAF Bentwaters and several Air Force personnel reported observing mysterious objects at close range in a forested area just south of the base. According to the deputy commander, the UFOs were also observed via radar.

In an affidavit, the commander, who initially intended to debunk UFO rumors swirling around the base, stated that at least one of the mysterious objects projected “beams of light” around the nuclear weapons storage area at RAF Bentwaters. Audio recorded during the incident seems to corroborate such observations. According to the commander, other UFOs “moved in sharp angular patterns as though they were doing a grid search.”

In 1979, just one year before the events in eastern England, the New York Times and the Washington Post had reported on a series of alarming incidents at key nuclear weapons facilities in the United States.

The Post, citing then-recently released Defense Department documents, reported that “a string of the nation’s supersensitive nuclear missile launch sites and bomber bases were visited by unidentified, low-flying and elusive objects” in the fall of 1975. The incidents involved “unknown entities and brightly lighted, fast-moving vehicles that hovered over nuclear weapons storage areas and evaded all pursuit efforts.”

“Numerous daily updates,” the Timesreported, “kept the Joint Chiefs of Staff informed of these incursions.”

The unnerving events have notable parallels to allegations by former Air Force missile officers, that UFOs had rendered nuclear weapons inoperable at Minot Air Force Base in 1966 and Malmstrom Air Force Base in 1967.

Astronomer J. Allen Hynek, the Air Force’s long-time scientific consultant on UFOs, described how an unknown object high above Minot’s nuclear silos interfered with a missile command station’s communications equipment in August 1966. A local Minot, N.D., newspaper reported the extraordinary incident shortly after Hynek talked about it.

Hynek also described how a Border Patrol officer observed a metallic, disk-shaped object at remarkably close range just days before and not far from the Minot incident.

According to the officer, the silvery disk “was on its edge floating down [the] side of [a] hill wobbling from side to side about 10 feet from the ground.” The craft then “flattened out” and hovered briefly, exposing a “dome on top,” before tilting “back on edge” and disappearing “rapidly into the clouds.”

This incident was reported in the middle of a large field of Minot nuclear missile silos, the closest being only a mile and a half away. And the Border Patrol officer also reported that his radio stopped working as the metallic disk moved closer to him.

Hynek interviewed the officer and was left “personally satisfied that he is above reproach.” Moreover, according to government records, the officer “was not seeking publicity” and “stated that if his sighting was publicized he would deny any knowledge of the occurrence.”

In recent years, a weeks-long series of bizarre “drone” incidents observed by dozens of individuals in rural Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming left federal and state officials stumped. Notably, some of the strange sightings were “clustered in an area that has quite a few [nuclear missile] sites.”

The nearby Air Force base denied any involvement in the perplexing incursions. Following an exhaustive, multi-agency investigation, the Federal Aviation Administration concluded “with high confidence” that the odd incidents were “not covert military activities,” which only deepens the mystery.

In one instance, a Nebraska deputy sheriff reported “observing 30 to 50 [objects] flying independently of each other with a larger ‘mothership’ hovering for hours.”

At the same time, multiple reports described the objects as flying “in a grid pattern,” seemingly reminiscent of the “grid search” movements observed during the 1980 UFO incidents over the Bentwaters air base in England.

Some witnesses and media outlets undoubtedly observed planes and hobbyist drones during the 2019-20 incidents. But one of the objects passed just 200 feet above a Kansas Highway Patrol officer, who said that the brightly lit craft “made absolutely no sound at all, even though the wind was calm.”

Another witness, a retired meteorologist, also reported there was no sound as one of the objects “hovered over a [nuclear] missile command station within sight of his farm.”

In an astounding historical parallel, over the course of three nights in 1965, more than 140 Air Force personnel stationed at the same nuclear missile silos in Wyoming and Nebraska had reported nearly 150 mysterious craft exhibiting the same characteristics — “flashing lights,” “no sound” and only flying at night — as the unknown objects during the 2019-2020 incidents.

Marik von Rennenkampff served as an analyst with the State Department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. He was also an Obama administration appointee at the U.S. Department of Defense.

Marik von Rennenkampff
The Hill

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